Talor-Menalor

“Tiyu” in my language.

This is an ode to the humble but ubiquitous “talor”~ the beginning of life if you’re philosophical, breakfast if you’re hungry.

In Brunei most of us have grown up with these three “types” of eggs, each unique in their own way.

First up, the Talur Masin or Salted duck eggs. Very salty, but very tasty.

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When I was little, dinner was a much-dreaded nightmare for my parents, payah kan disuruh makan. But one bait that never failed to get me to eat was rice balls with crushed Talur masin. When I grew out of it, I started to have halves, but only ate the tasty yolk. The best ones were the naturally oily yolk. Mum used to chastise me/us for doing that. Never understood what mum was so upset about, cos I always had the courtesy to leave the salty white bits on the serving tray- you know, for others… what??

But this next type of egg took a while to get used to… it’s an acquired taste let’s say, but once you’ve acquired that taste, you’ll love it!
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The marble pattern in the yolk of the “Century egg” or “Talur itam” (Black egg) is part of its appeal, in my opinion. I do not share the aversion of some people to its blackened appearance; it’s the creamy unique “umami” that matters to me. So I nearly fell off my seat when I saw the Century egg being featured as a “scary” food in Fear Factor (an American production, no doubt), alongside thorny durian- and to see the contestants in tears as a portion floats toward their open mouths to the crescendo of “O Fortuna”- climaxing, just moments later, in a projectile of vomit shooting across the screen. Savoury. Some people actually think this egg is a hundred years old, probably the same idiots in Fear Factor! Talur banar! (Go wiki how it’s made!)

But one thing I’ve never understood about this is egg is why it’s called “Talur kuda” or “Horse egg”~ We still call it that in my family~ and i grew up believing this egg unceremoniously emerged out of the horse’s arse… (Insert Sapir-Whorf worldview analysis here).

Its other nickname, “Talur padi” (“Husk egg”) would seem more credible and appropriate owing to its golden husk outer layer…

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Now, both the Talur masin and the Talur Kuda are often served as accompaniments to your lunch or dinner.
But the plain old chicken egg is a favourite for breakfast… not fried sunny side up, not scrambled, not as an omellete, but separuh masak or runny half-boiled. But that’s not the end of the story yet, it has to be talur separuh masak campur kicap as follows.

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It’s a tried-and-tested recipe and a sure winner this, just add salty soy sauce and it’ll bring out the natural sweetness of the simple egg.

Bizzarre? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely.

So there you go, my homage to eggs all over the world. Here’s the final score, Love l’oeuf..!!

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8 responses

  1. LOL cali post mu ani. It does remind me of my childhood though, when my mum used to call me anak talor because I ate eggs everyday. But im probably the only one in brunei who hates talor setangah masak with the runny yolk. (*myself turning green*)

    enjoying marking so far?

  2. Actually, the whole “horse egg” misnomer comes from the myth that they’re made by soaking them in horse urine.

    I used to hear this myth all the time when I was a kid.

  3. Nikki- you’re not the only, ada lagi my fren inda suka runny egg jua, but you guys are a minority. Glad u liked the post.

    Fiz- …and how would you know what horse piss smells like??

    Ches- you’re probably right about the myth, and that’s probably what Fiz was referring to (unless it was an unmentionable past time best left alone here). But what’s worse was that I actually believed that the “horse egg” came out like that, covered in padi husk. And I remember asking why, but resolved the matter when a wise primary 3 friend told me it was because horses ate padi (hay in fact). He’s probably a vet now.

  4. i likkkeeee, century egg with porridge. with salty kichap and some white pepper. nyaman.

    half boiled egg nyummy with runny yolk, and servedwith indomee. yum!

    salted duck eggs, with rice balls. slurps!!!

    and turtle eggs are nice too if turtles aren´t endangered. cant bring myself to eat them. runny and gooey.

    quail eggs, hardboiled makan with baked beans and buttered toast.

    ohhhh i love eggs!:D:D

  5. Siti just had Century egg mix with porridge, pickles and black bean fish for breakfast in K.Kinabalu tadi. So i guess she can qualify to join Fear Factor! hehehe

  6. However my old time favourite is still the half boiled egg campur kicap and a sprinkle of pepper. Nyaman..tais liur ku ehh! hehehe

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